Hillsboro United Methodist Church
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Biography of Pastor Joseph Saunders
     Shalom! My name is Pastor Joseph Saunders (I go by Pastor Joseph) and I have the wonderful honor of being the pastor of the Hillsboro United Methodist Church. I graduated from Portsmouth High School, Portsmouth, NH, in 1981, entered the Air Force serving in the Security Police for 3 years, being stationed at Pease Air Force Base, NH, and Misawa, Japan. After a brief break in service I entered the Army and served an additional 17 years in places like Germany, New York State, Massachusetts, Belgium, Bosnia, and Colorado. While serving in the military I attended colleges and universities at each location and graduated in 2001 from Barclay College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Christian Ministry Leadership.  Retiring from active duty in 2002, I ministered four years as pastor of an Advent Christian Church in Southern Maine. During this period I began attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.   In 2008 my wife, Kathryn, and I moved to Belfast, Maine, and it was here that I connected with the United Methodist Church. Through the counseling and guidance of then pastor of the Belfast UMC, Rev. David Abbott, I began the journey into pastoral ministry with the United Methodist Church. After completing all phases of the Local Licensed Pastor requirements, I was called to be the Pastor of the Community United Methodist Church of North Anson and Madison, Maine, in 2011. In the summer of 2012, the Bishop and Cabinet of the New England Conference were led to appoint me to the pastorate of the Hillsboro UMC. So here we are serving the Lord and enjoying the journey with so many other brothers and sisters in Christ! I praise God that I was raised in a Christian home and received the Lord as my Savior at the age of 9.  These formative years in my life have led me to the understanding that no one is too young or old to enter into a relationship with our Lord Jesus. God’s grace and forgiveness are the central themes to the ministry God has called me to. I believe that by sharing the good news of salvation through Jesus while striving to help others struggling with issues of the spirit, economics, and injustice, the church goes out into the world and truly becomes the hands, feet, and heart of God.
     In closing let me invite you to join with us here at HUMC (Hillsboro UMC) in the journey we are all on as humans. The journey of finding relevance, purpose, and love in this crazy mixed up world. YOU are welcome here! God bless you,
     Pastor Joseph